Stone construction course

21, 22 and 23 May 2021


An approach to the different uses of stone as a building material throughout history.
Morphology and technical properties of different types of stones
Construction typologies associated with the use: livestock separations and shelters, earth containment, dry stone shelters, livestock dwellings and buildings, waterworks, cylindrical foundations, slab roofs, etc.

  • Problems and diagnosis in the conservation of popular heritage in stone.
  • Dimensioning of masonry and standards
  • Development of construction techniques, tools and safety measures.
  • Fundamental principles of stonemasonry.
  • Natural mortars in stone masonries
  • Protection and restoration of stone


Guided tour with a specialist in the subject through an area of great geological interest (the following are represented 35 million years of earth’s history and appear from limestones with tropical fossils to sandstones with remains of the last dinosaurs in Europe), where we can learn to recognise the different types of stone, their nature and formation and discuss their properties in the approach to construction.

  • Practical workshop on stonemasonry, cutting and basic tools. We will learn how to make special pieces for corners or arches, as well as how to carve stones on site to adapt them to the work.
  • Practical workshop on dry stone construction, in which the different uses of this construction technique, such as retaining walls and land division, stairs and benches, can be experienced.
  • Experimentation with different types of natural mortars for stone masonry. Formulation and installation of different mortars based on limes and clays. Cyclopean foundations and stone plinths.

Course development

In order to offer a more dynamic experience, the practical part of the course will take place in the mornings, leaving the afternoons to deal with theoretical aspects, didactic excursions, discussion and the sharing of practical cases.


Theoretical part

Ignacio Mateos Royo

Graduate in Earth Sciences from the University of Zaragoza. More than twelve years of experience in geology applied to the restoration of historical-artistic heritage and characterisation of materials for archaeology and construction.

Nadir Sirera Oriol

Architect and Builder based in Iscles. Specialised in Bioclimatic Architecture and Bioconstruction, working for years in the restoration and recovery of Vernacular Architecture.

Practical part

Equipo Iscles

The entire Iscles team will guide the construction work.


Day One


9:00-15:00 (with a short break)

Guided tour with a specialist in the field through an area of great geological interest (35 million years of the earth’s history are represented, from limestone with tropical fossils to sandstone with the remains of the last dinosaurs in Europe), where we can learn to recognise the different types of stone, their nature and formation and discuss their properties in the approach to construction. Collection of samples for further testing and classification. Practice of basic stone cutting, measuring and preparation of pieces for subsequent installation on site. Cutting of ashlars and keystones for arches. Finishing and bushhammering techniques.


17:00 - end

Excursion to other nearby sites of sandstone, limestone, fossils, etc., where we will also be able to recognise different uses of stone construction (stone chippings, boundaries, roads, containment, etc.).

Day Two


9:00-15:00 (with a short break)

Dry stone workshop. Measuring, setting out, setting up of ropes and stringers Team building of earth separation and retaining walls, using the dry stone technique, using previously worked pieces and learning how to carve pieces on site. We will have a straight wall and a curved wall where the teams will rotate to try out different techniques.


17:00 - end

Theory and regulations of stone construction Discussions Open space for the sharing of case studies contributed by the participants or by ourselves. We encourage you to bring your project! Documentary film on dry stone

Day Three


9:00-15:00 (with a short break)

Theoretical introduction to natural mortars in stone masonry. Clay mortars, lime, bastard, traditional plasters etc. Practical workshop on masonry with natural mortars. Construction of a cyclopean foundation in a prepared trench. Use of formwork in masonry walls. Construction of a masonry plinth on the foundation (with lime mortar), which can be used to support and insulate a structure made of straw, earth, wood, etc. from the ground.


15:00 - 17:00

Farewell and closure


The course

The participation fee for the course is

225.- €

Accommodation and Meals

The price of food is 25€ per day, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper, all prepared with love and mostly from our own gardens. Accommodation can be in a shared room, teepee or single tent with bed (€10/night) or free camping with use of shower and dry toilet (€3/night).

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